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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

KSR’s UK Basketball Season Preview: Nerlens Noel

To fully prepare for the 2012-13 basketball season, KSR conducted one-on-one interviews with each member of the Kentucky basketball team about their expectations for the team and what they would like to achieve individually. We’ll release two interviews per day throughout the week. Up now: Nerlens Noel, the No. 1 ranked recruit from the 2012 class and UK’s best hairdo in over a decade.


Following in Anthony Davis’ footsteps wouldn’t be an easy task for anyone. It’s unfair, really. Davis had arguably the best college basketball season by anyone,  ever. But Kentucky’s top recruit from its 2012 class, Nerlens Noel, will have to do his best this season to tune out the Davis comparisons and play his own game. It’s something he thinks he’ll be able to do, especially with the help of the game’s greatest motivator, John Calipari.

“I think I’ll be able to do that easily,” Noel said of what it’ll be like avoiding the Anthony Davis comparisons. “Just focusing on this team and just playing my own game. I think Coach Cal really keeps his players focused on one thing, which is winning and playing hard.”

It’s usually the point guards under Calipari who have to deal with the pressures of following a star player. It took months before fans realized Brandon Knight isn’t John Wall, he’s Brandon Knight. It might take a little while — hopefully not long — for fans to get used to seeing Noel out there instead of Anthony Davis. Davis was a once in a lifetime player; he won every award imaginable, including an NCAA title and an Olympic gold medal after he left UK. You won’t see that again.

With Davis’ success out of sight and out of mind, Nerlens Noel still hopes to have a similar season as the unibrowed one. After all, it’s the reason Noel committed to play at Kentucky over every other school in America. We asked him, “Why Kentucky?” and his answer was simple:

“The chance to win a championship,” he said.

Noel was in New Orleans for the Final Four when Kentucky defeated Kansas to win its eighth NCAA title, Calipari’s first. He wasn’t even sure where he’d attend school at the time, but he admitted to privately rooting for the Cats throughout the tournament.

“Yeah, I was definitely pulling for them,” he said with a smile.

Noel committed to Kentucky on an ESPNU special a week after Kentucky’s championship win in the Superdome. However, reports came out right before the show began that he would choose Georgetown, leaving UK fans in a nervous wreck in the minutes leading up to the announcement. But, in the end, it was a UK emblem shaved into the back of his head, which he plans to show off again at Big Blue Madness.

Noel said he decided on Kentucky “a couple of days or a week” before the public announcement.

We’re glad he did.


Watch KSR’s entire one-on-one interview with Nerlens Noel…


Other profiles: John Calipari, Julius Mays

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

14 Comments for KSR’s UK Basketball Season Preview: Nerlens Noel

  1. 502Cat
    1:12 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    You know it’s Matts interview when you hear his voice and all you can see is his hands.

  2. Willie Fistergash?
    1:18 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t wait for the flat top!

  3. waitwhat?
    1:19 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    I’m absolutely mesmerized by the mouth and lips in the middle of his forehead.
    I’m just sure his forhead mouth is about to start talking any second.
    We just went from unibrow to forehead-mouth. SWEET!!!

    (All said in love. N^2 is gonna be SO FUN to watch this season!)

  4. checkmyswag
    1:21 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens is going to be such a unique player, seems like he has great handles and slashing skills for a big guy

  5. UKBlue1!
    1:21 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    I can hardly wait for him to leave his own mark. UK has had a bunch of great players over the years. Look back at all of the centers. If the Cats somehow win #9 that’s all anyone will remember. Lot of greats have never won a championship.

  6. LEARN
    1:25 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    LEARN HOW TO update your podcasts more often so I don’t have to go 18 pages back to find it embedded onto a page. smh.

  7. blue barry
    1:42 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    One of my favorite player photos ever.

  8. FlySoup
    1:46 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    that flat top makes me think “west philadelphila born and raised, on the playground is where i spent most of my days”

  9. bluefan
    2:26 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    Love this kid already. Can’t wait to see him on the court.

  10. Nerlens photoshop pics
    2:50 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens will go down as one of the greatest ever.

  11. BigBlueOne
    4:02 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    I ran into him at the final four. He was absolutely surrounded by UK fans and was eating it up. Its hard to compete with a fan base like the BBN (basketball, not football)…

  12. jmillertime bbn
    4:12 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    Hope he lives up to the hype and helps bring us #9. FEAR THE FLAT TOP!

  13. Duke Sucks
    10:21 pm October 1, 2012 Permalink

    #5 I get what your saying. As much as liked Davis I don’t know about the best season ever. A.D. Was great and was more ready then most frosh, but a lot had to do with team. We where just so good at every position last year it was almost unfair. But I’m not convinced that Davis was that far ahead of the rest of them. That team was so special who they played more for each other then they did themselves. Enough, before I shed a tear. Let this years team be their own. Last year is over and lets try not to make these boys live up to the ones who are gone. It’s unfair to the and honestly unattainable .

  14. observant one
    11:36 am October 2, 2012 Permalink

    #3, I thought that was a a$$hole on your face until it talked